Pharos-Tribune

Columns

February 18, 2014

VILLAGE IDIOT: Putting the fun back in dysfunctional

Gloria’s got a 16-year-old grandchild who dresses like a streetwalker. And her mother, Robin, buys her clothes.

“When the kid is not on the phone, she’s got those little earplugs in her ears. Her brother is 24 and lives in the basement. I think Robin leaves plates of food for him at the cellar door. I don’t think she’s seen him in five years.

“The funny thing is, Robin thinks Amos and I were bad parents — like she’s done such a fine job. I’ll agree that we were not the best parents, but it’s not our job to be the best parents. It’s not a competition. It’s our job just to be the parents. What’s that comedienne’s name? The one who used to be funny. Roseanne? She used to say that ‘if my kids are alive by they time they’re 18, I did my job.’

“Robin thinks I was a lousy parent because I made her say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ and I made her go to school every day and checked her report cards and made sure she did her homework and wouldn’t let her date until she was 16 and I didn’t buy her a brand-new car when she turned 16 and I wouldn’t spend $300 on her prom dress and rent a limousine for her and all her little friends. She sure wasn’t going to raise her kids the way I did.

“No, I didn’t go to every basketball game and track meet, and I rolled my eyes at the thought of a first-grade ‘graduation,’ but I did pack her lunch every day and make sure she had clean clothes to wear. All of which makes me a horrible person. Winner of the ‘Mommie Dearest’ award for fine parenting. What was I thinking?

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